Remember the St. Louis

Remember the St. Louis Today, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, I am thinking about the M.S. St. Louis.  In 1939, while war waged in Europe, the M.S. St. Louis, a transatlantic ship carrying Jewish refugees fleeing the Third Reich, reached U.S. waters by way of Hamburg and Havana.  Seeking protection from persecution and a safe place to start over with their families, these refugees hoped to be admitted to the United States of America. 

Clients of the Month- October 2016: 5 Child Refugees!

Clients of the Month-  October 2016: 5 Child Refugees! Liana Montecinos This post was written by Liana Montecinos. Thirsty, hungry, at the brink of exhaustion, and with fear of violent deaths looming large back home is how many Central American children cross into the U.S.  I know this because I have the privilege to work with child refugees in my capacity as paralegal at Benach Collopy and previously as a legal assistant at CAIR Coalition

Refugee Olympic Team at 2016 Olympic Games

Refugee Olympic Team at 2016 Olympic Games Faces of the Refugee Olympic Team On August 5, the 2016 Olympic Games will open in Rio de Janeiro.  I love the Olympics because it is a time when we all set aside our day-to-day worries and differences to come together to cheer on the world’s elite athletes as they represent their home countries.  But I am particularly interested in watching this year’s Olympic Games because of one specific “country.”  This year, 206 countries will participate. 

Guest Blog Post: CUA Law Students Win Asylum for a Salvadoran Mother Who Fell Victim to Gang Violence

This post is by Tagreed “Tina” Nafisi and Junou Odige, law students at Catholic University. In October, when we met Martha* we could not even begin to fathom the endless hurdles we might have to jump. When one door would close, a window would appear. When something seemed like a dead end, it was really a detour. Throughout this journey of preparing for the individual hearing, two things remained constant though: our client’s faith and our diligence.

Why Should Congress Support the Refugee Protection Act of 2016?

Why Should Congress Support the Refugee Protection Act of 2016? A Syrian refugee reacts as he waits behind border fences to cross into Turkey at Akcakale border gate in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, June 15, 2015. Photo by Umit Bektas/Reuters “We live in the age of the refugee, the age of the exile.” Ariel Dorfman (Argentine-Chilean playwright, academic and human rights activist) By Satsita Muradova If someone asked me what was the most difficult decision I have made in my lifetime, I would respond – seeking asylum in the United States.

My Summer Working on Transgender Asylum Cases at Benach Collopy and Whitman Walker Health

Benach Collopy and Whitman Walker partners. This summer, I have had the great privilege of working for Benach Collopy on transgender asylum cases as the Fellow for Trans Asylum. Through a partnership with Whitman-Walker Health Legal Services, I have had the opportunity to work on 11 different asylum cases for transgender women from Central America, Mexico, and Peru. Each of these women were forced to flee their country due to persecution based on their gender identity.

Orlando: Does Asylum Matter for LGBT Latinx?

Orlando: Does Asylum Matter for LGBT Latinx? The heartbreak, grief and anger is overwhelming.  Fifty people murdered by someone who hated LGBT people more than he loved his own son.  On Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida, young people, mostly Latinx (“Latinx” is a term that is meant to include the male, female and gender non-conforming; it is meant to eliminate the default male bias of “Latino,” which, grammatically was meant to serve the same purpose) were celebrating their lives at Pulse Orlando. 

Client of the Month June 2016- Julia Marquez

Client of the Month June 2016- Julia Marquez Our client of the month for June 2016 is Julia Marquez.  Ms. Marquez fled her native Venezuela with her son after suffering systematic and targeted attacks by the Venezuelan government and the government-backed paramilitary groups.  Ms. Marquez was targeted in Venezuela because, as a journalist and political activist, she dared to expose the corrupt and discriminatory practices of the Chavez regime and was dedicated to bringing democracy back to Venezuela. 

GUEST BLOG: “More Than a Grade: How our Salvadoran Asylum Client Taught us What it Takes to be an Attorney” by Abdulmajeed Alhogbani, with contributions by Barrett Bles, Recent Graduates of the CUA Columbus School of Law

GUEST BLOG: "More Than a Grade: How our Salvadoran Asylum Client  Taught us What it Takes to be an Attorney" by Abdulmajeed Alhogbani, with contributions by Barrett Bles,  Recent Graduates of the CUA Columbus School of Law “Ok, I’d be willing to stipulate to humanitarian asylum.” We were approximately 30 minutes into the recess the Immigration Judge took, during which we were supposed to negotiate a favorable solution for our client, when DHS said the words we had been waiting to hear since we first met our client in October. We both thought, “Oh my gosh, really???” but when Professor Michelle Mendez leaned over and whispered to our client in Spanish that she was going to get asylum, we knew this was really happening—our client was going to be safe.

ICE’s New Facility for Trans Detainees Promises More of the Same Abuse

ICE's New Facility for Trans Detainees Promises More of the Same Abuse Even as the Obama administration takes steps to protect transgender children in schools and provide access to health care for trans people, the President’s illiberal approach to immigration continues to affect trans women in predictable and violent ways.  As accolades were heaped on the administration from transgender advocates, the administration announced the creation of a new detention facility designed to hold trans detainees in Alvarado, Texas.  Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a 36 bed enclave in the 700 bed facility that will be dedicated to trans detainees and will, in the words of ICE, operate along the most advanced lines of transgender care.